Gender in Foot and Ankle
Recent trends show women occupying the majority of slots in both MD and DPM schools. During the 2019–2020 application cycle, for example, 53.7% of students matriculating in MD-granting schools were women. For DPM-granting schools, women made up 50% of matriculating students in 2021. Under-representation in orthopedics The ratios do not carry through into orthopedic care. In the United States, of the 29,613 orthopedic surgeons only 6.5% were women, according to a recent AAOS survey. Does accessing care predominately delivered by one gender impact access? Results from a study using the Canadian Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Prospective Ankle Reconstruction database suggests that one reason women tend to wait longer before definitive care for their ankle arthritis could be the gender bias in caregivers. Looking at patient data, among 872 patients with end-stage ankle arthritis who underwent either total ankle replacement (n=629) or ankle arthrodesis (n=243) and who had two or more years of follow-up, women had higher pain scores preoperatively in both the total ankle replacement and ankle arthrodesis groups compared with men. Despite differences in time to access care, men and women achieve equally good outcomes in both ankle arthrodesis and arthroplasty.